Heat Mavericks Fight

No NBA fines, suspensions from Game 6 announced


Interesting note from Henry Abbott at TrueHoop — the NBA has yet to announce if there will be suspensions at the start of next season for the mini-altercation between Udonis Haslem and DeShawn Stevenson during Game 6.

On one level I hope there are not any suspensions. It was a minor thing, some pushing and posturing. If there had been a Game 7 part of me would have cheered this outcome because I want to see the players decide the series.

But Abbot is spot on — if there are not it would feel a lot like the league office interpreting the rule to fit what it wants to see rather than applying the rules evenly from case to case. The league in previous situations like this did suspend people and said there could be no exceptions to the rule.

Players had entered the court because a timeout was called, but the rule is clear and it says nothing about timeouts (“During an altercation, all players not participating in the game must remain in the immediate vicinity of their bench. Violators will be suspended, without pay, for a minimum of one game and fined up to $50,000”). Back when Amar’e Stoudemire was suspended as a member of the Suns in a controversial play the league — including David Stern — took a hard line saying a rule is a rule. (Abbott has all the quotes.)

And yet in Game 6, there was that rarest of sights: Players (watch Joel Anthony) sprinting from the bench to a fight (to say nothing of Mario Chalmers — playing in the game before the timeout — who sprinted over to antagonize, and took a long time to calm)….

The rule is the rule is the rule is a reasonable position. The rule is the rule is the rule, except once in a while … that does not fly.


League to review tape of Heat, Mavs altercation


The good news is nobody is getting suspended from Game 7.

But the league is going to review the tape from an altercation that started between DeShawn Stevenson and Udonis Haslem in the second quarter. If someone did leave the bench to enter the fray they could face a fine and be suspended at the start of next season (whenever that is).

Here is the statement from the league, courtesy the Associated Press.

“A player will not automatically be suspended for leaving the bench if he has already left the bench because a timeout was called,” league spokesman Tim Frank says in a statement. “However, we need to review the circumstances of this particular incident, which we will do, after the game.”

The incident happened in the second quarter. The Heat had hit a shot as part of a little run and so a timeout was called. Stevenson thought Haslem was in his way as the two went to the bench, they bumped into each other then started facing up and jawing. Pretty soon there was a crowd. Mario Chalmers rushed in as the third person and seemed to escalate things, but he had been in the game.

Anytime a player levees a bench to enter a fight there is an automatic suspension. However, guys were already coning out to the floor so it creates a muddy area.

It wasn’t really that big a deal, nothing anyone should be suspended for really. But you know how the league loves to watch tape on these things.